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Why Employees also Benefit from Corporate Philanthropy

Culture | Posted on June 21, 2013 by Ian Zagrodney

At Softchoice employees receive two days per year to reach out to their local communities, volunteer time, and organize charitable events. Volunteering has not only become a Softchoice corporate passion, but has become an integral part of our values. With the leadership of the Softchoice Cares board (our employee-led philanthropy program),  volunteering and giving back has become rooted in our culture.

Employees choose to use their two days to contribute to causes that they’re passionate about – which makes an incredible impact on the communities around us. But what some organizations fail to understand is that corporate philanthropy doesn’t just make a difference to those outside the company, but also to those within. Volunteering gives employees an opportunity for personal and professional growth and provides excellent team-building opportunities!

The Team Building Environment

While Softchoice employees are encouraged to seek charities that speak to their own personal motivations, often we see teams go out and use this time as an opportunity for a true team building experience.

Although it’s not always easy to set aside a full day outside of work for an entire team, being able to identify the appropriate times offers a number of benefits to an evolving team dynamic.

Removing a team from day to day operations, inter-team relationships are given an opportunity to work together on a common goal, and form stronger relationships. This gives individuals an opportunity to connect with their communities, meet new people (both internally and externally), share and develop.

Not only do employees leave volunteer opportunities with a sense of personal growth, but often leave those experiences with closer interdepartmental relationships.

Where We Volunteer

Softchoice employees have been known to volunteer at local Food banks, career centers, adult literacy centers, youth centers, various charity events, and the list goes on… but why?

Jenn O’Neil (Development Coach on our Organizational Development team) sums up a recent event she helped organize for the Heart and Stroke foundation:

Softchoice Toronto began supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Dogs with Heart walk 3 years ago and each year we have become more and more involved in the event and raised more and more money.  This year, we were lucky enough to be able to host the event in our courtyard, invite other Liberty businesses to attend and have people from our office volunteer for the day. 

The Dogs with Heart walk is not only a really fun event but it is also aligns with Softchoice’s overall philosophy on wellness and with our ability to bring our pets to work.  There is a strong correlation between heart health and dog ownership so it was a natural fit.  With heart disease and stroke being two of the leading causes of death in Canada, it has unfortunately affected so many of our lives and the lives of people we love.  By walking each year and raising money for this amazing cause, we are able to do our part in supporting them in their fight to eliminate heart disease and stroke. 

We encourage all employees to be able to experience the fun and growth volunteering your time can offer. Our goal is to see 1,000 days (that’s 9,000 hours!) used by the end of our current board’s term in 2014.

By being active with volunteering, we are working to better ourselves, our team-relationships, and our communities. With corporate philanthropy, we’re given the opportunity to be the change we want to see in our world.

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